LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Airport traffic control towers in Pacoima, Fullerton, Riverside and Ramona will close April 7 under the Federal Aviation Administration’s forced spending cuts, the agency announced today.
In addition, a control tower in Lancaster will close April 21 and a tower in San Diego will shut down May 5, FAA officials said.
The towers are located at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, Fullerton Municipal Airport, Riverside Municipal Airport, Gen. William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Brown Field in San Diego and Ramona Airport in San Diego County.
The Southland locations are among 149 federal contract towers nationwide expected to close within a four-week period.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to oppose the planned closures at Whiteman Airport and Fox Airfield.
Whiteman is close to Burbank Airport and “Whiteman tower controllers coordinate many dozens of flights per day through Burbank airspace,” according to the supervisors’ motion.
Fox Airfield coordinates hundreds of flights during wildfire disasters and is the base for U.S. Forest Service tankers, supervisors said.
Jobs might also be lost as the result of closures, since the city of Lancaster is working to attract flight training and other commercial operators to Fox Airfield.
“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week.
In early March, the FAA proposed to close nearly 200 towers — including the structure at Hawthorne Municipal Airport — as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration.
However, the Hawthorne facility was saved after the FAA made the decision the closure would negatively impact the national interest.
Also on the saved list is Santa Monica Airport, which will be considered in a later round of cuts, according to the FAA.
The federal agency said it was targeting towers at airports with less than 150,000 takeoffs and landings and less than 10,000 commercial flights a year.